SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
MEMBERSHIP AND SERVICES - FALL 2010
I’m assembling this column starting on June 29 th.
Rhona and Chuck Gorder 12 th Co. are having so much fun cruising with Classmates that they are setting up another cruise, but in an attempt to give the East Coast folks a crack at getting on board this one will leave from Baltimore on Monday, January 17 th, returning on January 29 th. The ship is Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas and will touch at Labadee Haiti; Samana, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsbury, St. Maarten; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The group rates go from $780/guest to $1,690/guest. The contact once again is Pat Russell phone (760) 930-9377 or cell phone 413-0657. Reference USNA Class of ‘48. Give it some thought.
While on the subject of “cruising”, I’ve written before about Bob McClinton 11 th Co. and his sailboat WEIGH TO GO. He always participates in a planned competition titled Swiftsure. This was his seventh race. The race is 17.8 nm and Bob says, “we used 4:08:25. WEIGH TO GO finished fifth. Missed taking second by 138 sec. 30-32 kt. Westerlies but only about three ft. seas. Finally got down to two reefs in the main and furled almost half of the 141. I am very proud of my guys and gals. Five are signed on for Swiftsure 2011. Our best finish was third in 2006. Room for improvement.” Picture shows his guys and gals. “Way to go” Bob and crew. I for one am too sedentary and struggle to get close to the recommended 30 minutes, three times a week of vigorous exercise. You certainly don’t have that problem from your comments in previous emails.
Bob McClinton's sailboat 'WEIGH TO GO"
A phone call from Phil Rogers 9 th Co. brought me up to speed on the Gate. Phil and Patsy had checked the Gate and found that the 7 trees we had planted when it was redone have died. Phil checked with Public Works and they plan to replant in the fall. He also learned that they are taking full responsibility for the Gate now so the Class is no longer obligated. Phil will keep an eye on things because the trees are absolutely essential for anyone to sit on our benches in the summer. Without the trees there is no shade and when the ambient hits 100 degrees, as it has for the last four days here, shade is most desirable.
Homecoming, tail gating etc. I’ve commented before that Class attendance at Homecoming and the football games is constantly shrinking. We have had for years a space at the stadium where we had a canopy to keep the sun and rain off our heads. The Athletic Assoc. maintains very close control of these spaces and by some magical formula has put together a list of what class is in line for what space when it becomes available. The class which is in line for our space when we choose to relinquish it is the Class of ‘88 (WOW). Roger Carlquist 19 th Co. has been overseeing the football and homecoming effort, arranging for the rental of the canopy, which had recently become quite expensive, and getting it set up. After last years turnout he decided it would make sense to ask ‘88 to join us. In return ‘88 bought a canopy and will now see that it gets set up on our space. As Roger says their attendance will increase while ours will continue to decline. Seems to me to be a symbiotic arrangement.
Since the last column we have lost some good friends/wives and Classmates:
Pete Goldman 8 th Co. 8/27/26-6/17/10
Betty LeDoux, wife of Jack LeDoux 11 th Co. 5/30/10
Mary Anne Waugh wife of Ron Waugh 10 th Co. (deceased) 6/15/10
Natalie Kennedy wife of Ralph Kennedy 11 th Co. (deceased) 6/20/10
To each of these families we extend our deepest condolences. The Class “family” is also poorer for their departure.
Pete’s memorial service and interment were on the 21 st and Classmates who attended the service at the Washington Hebrew Congregation have told me it was a beautiful service. Betty and I and others paid our respects at Arlington where the graveside service was very simple, rifle salute and taps.
In recent years I have found that the children, having grown up with lots of photo technology, are leaning toward video coverage of family lives. They are using that video at memorial services instead of posting photographs as we have done in the past. Some of these videos I have seen were professional productions put together from 8mm film early on then progressing on to video camera coverage. Very attractive. I suspect that trend to continue and grow. For example one of sons of Jack LeDoux 11 th Co. put together such a tribute to his mother and Jack sent me a copy along with the following excellent letter.
“Enclosed is a DVD of Betty (and Me) that my youngest son made for Betty’s funeral. My Pastor gave the Sunday service over to me and I showed it again at that service and then spoke about our marriage for about 15 minutes. I hope it was recorded because I only had a few notes and rambled on. But everyone claimed it was very good. I hope you can enjoy this DVD because there are many funny moments in it plus a number of photos taken over the years even some when we were dating. Please feel free to laugh if so moved. I am sure Betty would also enjoy it.
One of the notes had the word “coincidence”. Betty had a Christian nurse who came to the house to treat her leg. At one of these sessions, she said that she did not believe in coincidences. That got me thinking about how I met Betty and there were some events that confirmed her thinking. You may not know, but after I enlisted in the Navy I passed a V12 and was sent to UC at Berkeley. This was after I did not make USNA in ‘43. I opted for civil engineering. After my first year at Cal., I was ordered to Case Institute in Ohio as that was the school for CEs. Before I left on that trip I received an appointment to USNA and I was routed through Annapolis. If I passed the physical I would go to the academy. If not I would have gone to Case. I almost did not pass due to a slight overbite. Crazy!
Coincidence #1: if I had gone to Case, I would have ended up in the corps but never would have met Betty in Long Beach. You may remember the lottery we had when we picked our first ship. I asked for a West coast cruiser and lo and behold I got the ASTORIA that was home ported in Long Beach where Betty now lived. She worked at the shipyard where the ASTORIA was in dry dock at the time I joined her. That was coin. #2.
The DVD covers coin. #3-the blind date. Cleve the other officer (ROTC type was buddies with another ROTC guy (can’t remember his name). Hank Clay 12 th Co. and Bill Bass 20 th Co. were my two other academy shipmates on the ASTORIA. I think Bill was already married but not Hank. I did not buddy around with Cleve. I just happened to be standing nearby when his buddy said he had the duty. Coin. #4’
As Betty says in the DVD, that was it! We had a wonderful marriage and a great career in the CEC. We moved 8 times in 9 years coast to coast but the kids always had their siblings as playmates. As you know we celebrated our 62 nd in May. She went quickly as she always prayed she would. I pray for the same.”
Scribe’s comment: I have viewed the DVD, which Jack sent, and it is very good. If any of you would like to have a copy just to see or to use as a model for your own efforts Jack says he will be happy to send you one if you will contact him at-
CDR J.C. LeDoux,USN (ret)
710 Knob Hill Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
It is time for an update of Class finances. Bob Ghormley 11 th Co., who is Treasurer of the Washington group and manages the flower/memorial fund, tells me “As of now we have a balance of $10,418. So far this year we have spent $1000 for “donations in memory of” and $167 for flowers. We have also covered luncheon costs for speakers and midshipman.
Charlie Heid 17 th Co. tracks the $2M Class gift to Academy and reports that as of 6/18/10 the balance is $1,743,559.72 thanks to having earned some interest recently. Don Buhrer 5 th Co. made the presentation of $1000 dollars to the top IT graduate in the Class of 2010. That money comes from this fund.
We have two other pots of money, which have resulted from reunion residuals and from the Gate fund. The first, what Phil Rogers 9 th Co.calls the General Fund, is available for homecomings/tailgates at the football games and as seed money should we ultimately decide to go for a 65 th. That pot, as of April 2010 has a balance of $23, 933.14. The second pot is what was earmarked for Gate maintenance and has a balance as of April 2010 of $6,371.09. Since Public Works now says they have the responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the Gate Phil and I have been discussing how we could make our Gate money available to Public Works. Phil is exploring the possibility of giving the money to the Foundation tagged for use only on ‘48 Gate maintenance needs. That will make the money available to do what the Class donated it for. I will keep you posted.
A note from Jack Gaffigan 13 th Co. tells me he had a quadruple bypass on 13 May. He is now doing very well; says he has season tickets to Navy football and plans to be at every game. Good show Jack.
Several of you have become authors including Dick Hoffman 10 th Co. He has produced books on the PBM Mariner, the P5M Marlin and PB2Y Coronado seaplanes and a history of the F9C Sparrowhawk Airship (Akron, Macon and Shenandoah that is) Fighter. I believe all of these books are available through the Naval Institute. Dick says he had hoped to do more and had started the research on submarine based airplanes but the chemo has sapped his creative juices.
An email from Mary Daley says she really misses Brad but reading my emails about Classmates with problems she wanted to say “I’m ever so fortunate to be in good health, have no trouble driving, steps don’t worry-I have five children, fourteen grandchildren (scattered from coast to coast and all are well. So---what’s to complain? Thought it might be a relief to hear good news once in a while. “ Good on ya Mary. May we all be so blessed.
An update on response to my question about who might attend a 65 th reunion. No change from my last report- three responses, all said yes they would attend but they felt such a reunion should be in Annapolis. I would really like to hear from all the rest of you.
Tomorrow is the 4 th of July. I hope that your day was wonderful, that you watched a good fireworks display (we will watch A Capitol Fourth on our TV) and that you were surrounded by family.